Abuja, Nigeria – The International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) announce the deployment of a joint international election observation mission (IEOM) to Nigeria. The 40-member delegation, comprised of political and civic leaders, elections experts, and regional specialists from 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, received accreditation from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the February 25 elections.
The delegation is led by former President of the Republic of Malawi, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda. She will be joined by Ambassador Mark Green, President and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Ambassador Johnnie Carson, former Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State; IRI Board Member Constance Berry Newman, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center; NDI Board Member Stacey Abrams, American political leader, lawyer, and voting rights activist; and IRI Board Member Dana White, foreign policy and communications advisor.
“We are here to show our support for, and solidarity with Nigerian democrats,” said H.E. Joyce Banda. “These elections are of tremendous significance for the country and the region as a whole. I encourage all voters to participate and make their voices heard through the ballot box.”
IRI and NDI have deployed international election observation missions to every general election in Nigeria since its 1999 transition from military to civilian democratic rule. NDI President, Ambassador Derek Mitchell, and IRI President, Dr. Daniel Twining, will also participate in the mission.
“This joint deployment is a testament to the continuous commitment of our organizations to Nigeria’s democracy,” said Ambassador Mitchell. “We are honored to support the Nigerian people in this pivotal election, and contribute to the continued strengthening of their country’s electoral processes and democratic institutions.”
"We celebrate the commitment of the Nigerian people to making their voices heard through the democratic political process," said IRI President Twining. “We are here in support of credible, free and fair elections and urge all electoral stakeholders to remain peaceful throughout the election process.”
The mission will conduct a substantive and detailed analysis of the process in various areas, including election administration, citizen participation, gender and inclusion, election security, legal framework, information environment, and political parties and campaigning. On Election Day, IRI/NDI will visit polling stations in 20 states across all six geopolitical regions of Nigeria to observe the various aspects of the elections and the administration of the poll, including the opening, voting, tabulation, transmission and publication of results.
This joint IEOM follows two joint pre-election assessment missions conducted in July and December of 2022. Those missions made recommendations on actions that could enhance the credibility of the upcoming February 25 elections.
NDI and IRI are nonpartisan, nongovernmental organizations that support and strengthen democratic institutions and practices worldwide. The Institutes have collectively observed more than 200 elections in more than 50 countries over the last 30 years.
The delegation will conduct its activities in accordance with the laws of Nigeria and the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, which was adopted by the United Nations in 2005. The delegation’s work is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).